If you want to enjoy delicious hot chocolate without sacrificing your health, then look no further.
My anti-inflammatory collagen hot chocolate is dairy-free, gluten-free, and full of health benefits. I use collagen powder to amp up the protein and gut-healing benefits, and instead of a store-bought mix (which usually has more sugar than chocolate, anyway), I use raw chocolate powder and natural sweeteners to keep it healthy enough to drink every day.
This version of healthy hot chocolate is easy to make and it's even healthy enough to have for breakfast if you're looking for a hot chocolatey drink in the morning.
Collagen Hot Chocolate Recipe Benefits
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and gives structure to your hair, skin, nails, ligaments, tendons, and bones. I add collagen powder to this version of healthy hot chocolate to amp up its health benefits. Collagen powder is not a complete protein so you shouldn't rely on it as your main source of protein, but it does contain almost all of the amino acids (the building blocks of protein) needed to make a complete protein so when incorporated into a healthy eating plan you'll be set.
In addition to its beauty-boosting benefits, collagen powder has gut-healing properties and helps keep your joints and bones healthy.
This collagen hot chocolate recipe is made with healthy, wholesome ingredients that you may even already have around if you've adopted a healthy lifestyle. It's full of anti-inflammatory ingredients and makes the perfect morning or afternoon snack when a chocolate craving hits.
I gave you a few variations in the printable recipe below so you can make it to your liking. The collagen is optional, but I recommend it to get the protein boost.
Anti-Inflammatory Collagen Hot Chocolate Recipe Ingredients
Raw Chocolate (a.k.a. Cacao)
Raw chocolate, also known as cacao powder, is one of the healthiest foods on earth. Different than the highly processed chocolate that comes in most candy and sweets, cacao powder is raw, unroasted, and minimally processed to preserve the healing properties of the cacao plant. Its earthy flavor is naturally sugar-free and makes for a wonderful drink when combined with natural sweeteners like honey and coconut crystals. I buy my cacao and most other healthy ingredients on Thrive Market for great quality and great prices. (Get 25% off your first order here.)
Since it's the most abundant protein in your body, adding collagen powder to recipes like this hot chocolate helps your hair and nails grow stronger—it even helps out your eyelashes, check that out here—and can also improve the elasticity and vibrancy of your skin. Collagen powder is not vegan and most of it comes from bovine sources, which makes it important to buy a clean brand. Collagen powder is tasteless and emulsifies into hot drinks, so you can't even notice it's there. I like Vital Proteins and the Thrive Market brands. Tone It Up also makes a great collagen from marine sources.
Coconut crystals (a.k.a. coconut palm sugar) is made from the nectar of the coconut flower. It's a natural sweetener that's much lower on the glycemic index than white sugar, which means that it won't cause huge blood sugar spikes that can lead to health problems. Coconut crystals are typically manufactured at a low heat, which preserves their healthy enzymes, and it's also abundant in minerals and b vitamins. It also has a nice sweet mild flavor that doesn't taste anything like coconut. Since it's sweet and low on the glycemic index it makes a great sweetener here. I like to combine it with a little raw honey in this healthy hot chocolate, but you can use all coconut crystals or all honey if you prefer.
Raw honey is loaded with enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. I get asked a lot if it's ok to add raw honey to hot liquids. Adding raw honey to a hot liquid does destroy some of the enzymes but many of its health benefits are preserved so don't worry too much about it. Raw honey is one of the best natural sweeteners available, and when combined with coconut crystals it makes this drink just the right amount of sweetness. As I mentioned above, if you prefer you can use all coconut crystals or all raw honey here if you prefer. Use 2-3 teaspoons of total sweetener, to your liking.
Cinnamon not only adds a delicious warming flavor to collagen hot chocolate, but it also provides antioxidants and blood sugar-balancing health benefits. Add a dash or so to your liking.
Turmeric root is one of the most anti-inflammatory foods on earth. It reduces inflammation, aids digestion, improves liver function, and even works as a natural pain reliever without any side effects when taken every day.
Inexpensive Milk Frother
Ok, this one isn't an ingredient, but this little tool is really handy to keep around if you drink this often! I don't like having a lot of extra kitchen gadgets around, but this is one I use often. You can simply whisk all of the ingredients together or use a blender, but I find that the ingredients settle to the bottom of the mug easily when I use a regular whisk, and I don't like getting the blender dirty to make one cup of hot chocolate. I tried one of these little inexpensive milk frothers and it works like a charm. I just rinse it with hot water right after using it and throw it back in the drawer. Easy-peasy and less cleanup. (Get one here or at a local store.)
- 10 ounces hot filtered water (1 ¼ cups)
- 2 ounces unsweetened almond or oat milk (¼ cup)
- 2 teaspoons raw cacao
- 1 tablespoon collagen powder
- 2 teaspoons coconut crystals
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- dash of cinnamon
- dash of ground turmeric
- Mix all ingredients in a large glass container until emulsified, using a whisk, handheld milk frother (my preference), or in a blender* until well emulsified. [See safety note below if using a blender; hot liquid expands when blended so always use common sense.]
*Hot liquid expands in a blender. If using a blender, never fill a blender more than ¼ of hot liquid and always blend on low. Make sure the lid is on tight and place a large kitchen towel over the top to hold the lid in place as the hot liquid expanding can push it off. Always use common sense when blending hot liquids.
To make 4 servings:
40 ounces hot filtered water (5 cups)
8 ounces unsweetened almond or oat milk (1 cup)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons raw cacao
¼ cup collagen powder
3 tablespoons coconut crystals
1 tablespoon raw honey
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric
Recipe: Mix all ingredients in a large glass container until emulsified, using a whisk, handheld milk frother (my preference), or in a blender* until well emulsified.